Significance and understanding of Metaphysics of Navaratri

Shri Matre Namah!

Understanding Navaratri

Navaratri is a festival like none other. Every nuance of this festival has meaning, be it the nine days of celebrations, the ‘Golu’ or doll festival in the South or the victorious Vijayadasami that marks the ending of Navaratri, the tenth day venerating Goddess Durga.

Each of the nine days of Navaratri and the Dasami commemorate a form of the Mother Goddess – in effect, the ten days are spent in the worship of the Dasa Vidya, namely, Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Tripura Bhairvai, Chinnamasta, Dhuumavati, Bgalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika. In the North, Durga is workshipped on the tenth day, as the slayer of the asura, Mahisha, the embodiment of all things evil, and is thus known as the Mahishasuramardini.

Our Bharat boomi is known as the land of colorful and vibrant religious festivals across the world. Here, religion and spirituality are an integrated part of the social as well as cultural fabric; thus, every festival celebrated by Indians has a deep material and spiritual meaning, reason and significance attached to it. The revelry, pomp and show are all joyful aspects of the festivals but the core remains the traditional values inculcated in one generation from the other. Navratri is one of the most significant Hindu festivals, celebrated twice a year (Vasant and Sharad Navratris) , once on the onset of summers and next, on the onset of winters. As the name suggests, Navratri is celebrated for nine nights. During this festival, people pray to Goddess Durga as she is believed to be the representation of positive celestial energy. Each of the nine days of Navratri is dedicated to the worship of different forms of the benevolent Mother Goddess.

Vishwa Darshan or Universal View

In the eyes of the Almighty, all living creatures are but one. Human consciousness, under the influence of Maya, does not grasp this truth. It is the Brahman that is in all things that live. To allow us to understand this Reality in the most simplest terms possible, is the social practise of Golu, or the ‘doll’ festival.

In homes in the South, dolls representing people from all walks of life, birds, animals, plants… are displayed on ‘steps’ or shelves and is called ‘Golu’ or ‘Kolu’. This display of dolls is worshipped every day. However, mostly the significance of this worship is lost today. By bowing down to this display of all things living, we acknowledge implicitly that God is in every life – allowing us to see the world with Vishwa Darshan or a Universal View that does not distinguish one God-head from another. That is why, traditionally, a guest is treated akin to a visiting God.

Worship of Goddess Durga

The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga, a warrior incarnation of the supreme mother. During these days, her power to vanquish all evils and vices is venerated. On each of the three days, three different incarnations of Durga are worshipped. On the first day, the Goddess is prayed in Kumari form, which signifies her in the form of a girl child. On the second day, she is worshiped as Parvati, which is a personification as a young woman. And on the third day, she is worshiped in the form of Kali, which symbolizes her lethal force and will to destroy all evil. Goddess Kali also signifies the mature stage of a woman.

Worship of Goddess Lakshmi

It is believed that after the heartfelt three-day worship of Goddess in the Durga form, a person attains victory over his/her inner vices, like ego, anger, lust, fear etc. and only then he/she can move forward to attain spiritual wealth. Thus, Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to be the bestower of spiritual, materialistic wellbeing and prosperity, is worshipped from the fourth to the sixth day of Navratri. However, on the fifth day, the Mother Goddess is worshipped in the form of Saraswati, the deity of knowledge and wisdom as per the Hindu religion. On this day, all learning instruments, like books, pen, and musical instruments of the household, are placed in front of the deity and a diya is lit. This ritual also signifies that wealth and wisdom go hand in hand.

Worship of Goddess Saraswati

On the seventh day of Navratri, the pious and all knowing form of Mother Goddess, Saraswati is worshipped. People pray to her for true spiritual guidance and purity of mind. On the eighth day, an elaborate yagna (ritualistic fire sacrifice) is performed to appease Goddess Durga, before she is bid farewell. During the yagna, the sacrifice of clarified butter (ghee), rice pudding known as kheer and sesame seeds are made.

Kanya Puja

Kanya Puja is also an important aspect of Navaratri. Young girls’ feet are washed, they are gifted new clothes, in a form of worship that celebrates the feminine as the Ultimate Force. Mother Goddess worship in our culture is the basis of all thing spiritual, for it is believed that it is the feminine force that gave birth to the world and its being.

Therefore, a young girl who is not yet a woman, is at her purest and most powerful, and is considered a devi. So it is that even the great Goddess Kamakshi is seen at her purest and most powerful, in her form as the young BalaTripurasundari, the kanya form of this devi.

When the guest is god

So it is that at the time of Navaratri, women are specially invited by their friends, relatives and neighbours, in a celebration of eternal womanhood. Each woman venerates the other, gifting her with tokens that mark the occasion – flowers, kumkum, a thamboolam, and gifts to delight.

Metaphysics of Navratri

So it is that at the time of Navaratri, women are specially invited by their friends, relatives and neighbours, in a celebration of eternal womanhood. Each woman venerates the other, gifting her with tokens that mark the occasion – flowers, kumkum, a thamboolam, and gifts to delight.

As Swami Krishnananda says, The worship of Mahadevi—Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati— which is prevalent in India, is a religious festival (Navratri), an occasion for great enthusiasm socially, and people revel in the freedom to express their feelings for the divine superintending power which is regarded as the source of this.

We are reminded here of what Buddha said long ago in a similar strain. There is movement only, relativity only, fluxation only, process only, and nothing is stable and located in one place continuously. Even a burning flame in a lamp is not a solid flame. It is an emanation which is jetting forth with rapidity, forces impinging one on the other, so that it is like the flow of the river which looks like a continuous mass of water. Such is a flame, a burning fire. “The world is burning fire,” said Buddha. From this statement one can discover any Descriptions of this are attempted in scriptures like the Yoga Vasishtha, the Vishnu Purana, etc. where we are told that the relationship between one part and the other part—Siva and Shakti, and Ishvara and Nari in this Ardhanarishvara concept—is something like the relationship of sesame to the oil which is immanent in it. Water which has liquidity imbedded in it, fire which has heat inseparable from it, sugar which has sweetness that cannot be separated from it, and so on, are examples given in such scriptures as the Yoga Vasishtha. In the Vishnu Purana, the relationship between Narayana and Lakshmi is described in this fashion. Sesame is Narayana, oil is Lakshmi; water is Narayana, liquidity is Lakshmi; fire is Narayana, Heat is Lakshmi; The body is not to be discarded; it has to be transmuted into a subtler energy. Molecule becomes atom, atom becomes electron, electron becomes electric force, and it becomes the space-time continuum, or whatever we call it. We do not reject the molecule for the sake of the finer essences, because they are the transmuted forms of the very things which we saw with our physical eyes—a solid The whole of life is a great miracle and a wondrous glory. Its worship it is that we are engaged in during this holy occasion of blessed Navratri of Adhyashakti: Mahadurga, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati. May the Blessings, Grace and Mercy of the Divine Mother Shine on All of us for Security,Peace and All-Abundant-Auspiciousness. Let us celebrate the Navratri with the spirit of oneness and Gratitude towards the Divine mother who is eternally inseparable from the Supreme father (Brahman)

What Name should we chant during Navaratra ?

According to one school of thought, Shri Mahakali is worshipped on the first 3 days to reduce the Tama component in ourselves. The next 3 days, to enhance the Raja component, Shri Mahalakshmi, and on the last 3 days, to intensify spiritual practice, Mahasaraswati is worshipped. Chant Names of these Deities during these days.

Chanting Sri Lalitha Sahasranama on the 9 days of Navratri and on Vijaya Dasami Day will bestow great boons.

In ancient times, during the Navratri dance, songs of the Goddess, Krishna-lila and compositions of Saints only used to be sung. Today, this collective dance worship of God has acquired a distorted form. The dances are seen sometimes with obscene body movements and to the tunes of film songs. There are instances of chewing tobacco, alcohol consumption and noise pollution at the site of the puja of the Goddess. These malpractices are harmful to our Dharma and culture. Today, putting an end to these is a part of abiding by Dharma.

Devotees should stay away from non-Veg food, alcohol and bad habits and mindfully pray to Goddess Durgamataji for receiving Her compassionate Grace.

Jai Mata Di!

GF’ Blessings…..🙏😊✋️